I am back to work already, I know 4 days post op. On November 23, 2015, 7:00am, Kinsey picked Lucas and myself up for Phase I of my three part journey. While driving down to Everett, I was thinking to myself how LUCKY I am. I am LUCKY that I have the option to have this surgery (nipple sparing), I am LUCKY to have the opportunity to kick cancer’s butt before it has the chance to enter my life, I am LUCKY to have a husband that loves me no matter what (boobs or no boobs), I am LUCKY to have amazing family that will do anything for me, I am LUCKY to have supporting loving friends that are cheering me on, I am LUCKY to have such a great medical staff working on me (Dr. Soriano and Dr. Scott), I am LUCKY to have primary care provider (Dr. Fackenthall) that is cheering me on and telling me that she would do the exact same thing if she were in my shoes and tells me she loves me. Not everyone has this sort of “LUCK“.
Some have said, “Geez Rachel, you are one un-lucky girl. You have had the worst luck medically, you have had multiple back surgeries, you have celiac disease and have had pre-cancerous colon polyps and now you have this mutation.” What I tell those people is, “I am LUCKY. I have so much to be thankful for and I say I am LUCKY because I have the opportunity to beat cancer before it has the chance to get the upper hand on me and my family.” I am not saying that I am happy that I have CHEK2 but I am happy that I have the knowledge of knowing and being given the choice to take this journey, I am not being forced into this journey.
By 8:45am, my IV was started and I had the revolving door of support coming in and out of pre-op. First it was Katie, she was in there making me giggle like we do when we are together. She was there with me even though she was flying out to Texas for work later that morning. Then there was Kinsey, she picked me up after working all night as a 911 dispatcher and told me she was staying until I got out (I told her to go and home and take care of herself) and then of course my mama. My mama knows me better than anyone, she said while the happy drugs start going into my IV, “here comes the mouthy, unfiltered Rachel we have all been waiting for.”
Once Dr. Soriano came in and said hi to me, everything went really fast. Before I know it I was on the operating table being told to breathe in the “oxygen”. I called bullshit on “oxygen” because you know they slipped a Mickie in the gasline I was breathing and the IV fluids they were giving me.
I remember waking up saying, “I really want an icepack for my boobs because they are on fire, but I bet he will say no because it will constrict the blood flow to the nipples.” I was right…he said no. (I guess at least I was thinking logically and somewhat clearly.) Before I knew it, I was home on the couch and my boys were home giving me hugs and happy to know that I was okay.
I slept a lot Friday and the rest of the weekend seemed pretty normal for the most part except I was not as busy as usual.
Monday 11/16/15, 8:30am, I clocked in at work. The amounts of looks and questions of why I was at work were crazy. “Why are you here? Are you okay? Are you in a lot of pain?” My answers were yes I am back. I am back because I have a job to do, a job I love to do, patients and co-workers I love to see everyday and I am fully capable of doing my job. I have a little amount of discomfort and a small amount of itchiness from the healing process but surviving. If I can work and still kick ass at my job then I will be in the office. The next surgery (bilateral mastectomy with tissue expander placement) is going to be the painful surgery and I will be off of work for three weeks starting December 4-December 28.
So far the incisions are healing amazing. I knew Dr. Soriano has magic surgeon hands, but seriously, he is pretty awesome. I am so impressed. I am really going to be impressed with the final project. I meet with Dr. Scott, Plastic Surgeon, on November 23rd, to go over the plan again. Surgery is scheduled for December 4, 2015 (I have to be at the hospital at 5:30am, barf, I hate getting up so early but at least I won’t starve to death while waiting.)
In conclusion, I AM LUCKY for so many reasons. It is hard to not let the negative run your life, but you really have to look at the things in your life that are good, that are LUCKY. Someone may take this gene mutation as shit luck but I am taking it as a positive thing, I am LUCKY I know this information and can do something about it for not only my own health but for my family.
Until the next time…